Kokanee comeback - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Kokanee comeback

State of Lake meeting Feb. 21

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:00 am

PONDERAY — The Lake Pend Oreille Fishery Recovery Task Force and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game are hosting a State of the Lake meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21.

It starts at 6 p.m. at the Ponderay Events Center off Eastgate Drive.

The meeting is open to anyone with an interest in the lake.

Following the presentations, there will be a question and answer session as well as time for informal discussion after the meeting.

Presentations will summarize the results of the 2012 predator removal efforts, status of kokanee and bull trout populations, and recap the recent rule changes.  In addition, biologists will present results of a recent genetic assessment of the rainbow trout population, comparing the fish from Pend Oreille to those in Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, where the population originally came from.  

Fish & Game officials will also discuss the status of the lake’s kokanee population and the opening of the fishery to a six-fish harvest limit. Kokanee stocks were so low that Fish & Game closed the fishery to harvest in 2000.

On Thursday, Feb. 28 in Priest River, Fish & Game will hold a meeting to share information and answer questions about future management of the fishery in Priest Lake.

That meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Priest River Senior Center, located at 339 West Jackson Ave.

Priest Lake has recently been the subject of lively discussion within the angling community.  Lake trout, or mackinaw, have dominated the Priest Lake fishery since they overpopulated the lake in the 1980s, effectively collapsing the kokanee and bull trout populations.  Though the lake trout fishery is popular with many anglers, many others have advocated restoration of a kokanee, bull trout and cutthroat fishery through implementation of a large-scale lake trout suppression effort similar to that on Pend Oreille. 

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  • Luv83864 posted at 4:19 pm on Fri, Feb 22, 2013.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    Your wrong. They have went up. Check into it, also you don't know how many people we have or how long we go...I abide by the rules and regulations. Thanks for your concern tho.

  • Here's What I Say posted at 9:35 am on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    I too remember when the lake had many fish for family fishing and kokanee were abundant. I agree with Lloyd that we have lost a valuable resource for families, especially with so many low income families in Sandpoint. Fishing can supplement their meager food budgets. I don't fish or buy a license anymore. I dislike fishing in small stocked lakes as the fish have no taste unless they last and naturalize in a few years. The thought of driving to Montana just to get Kokanee is a sad testimony on how F&G has "managed" LPO.

  • Perki posted at 2:27 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    Perki Posts: 610

    Luv, with a daily limit of 20 and 40 in possession I sure hope your not coming home wiht 700-1000 kokanee. And if so I sure hope you lose all fishing and hunting privaledges and go to jail.

  • Luv83864 posted at 9:48 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    I will comment to the great memories I have as a child catching fish after fish all day long. The fish were large like 12" or more, abundant and healthy. It was so much fun, we had a small boat and it was about the only thing we could afford. As time went on it got boring, we would catch like 3-4 fish a day. It was very sad to see this happen. Meanwhile we went to Koocanoosa every year a couple times and caught even more fish then you can imagine, they bite so much you can barely keep up. After reeling 50 fish in, cleaning the daily limits its a full day of pure enjoyment. Ok, so I don't clean the fish, but I have before. My dad, husband and Grandpa clean and smoke the fish. My mom, grandma, great grandma and I can the fish. We usually come home with about 700-1000 fish. This is a lot of work but so worth it. Fishing in Koocanoosa is my very favorite but the lake is narrow, storms and wind can come within minutes. The expense can add up but nothing like opening a fresh jar of canned Kokanee, smoked or not. I will be doing this tonight. Nothing beats Kokannee. Nothing. Lets make the Kokannee a priority. If Koocanoosa can do it, why can't we?

  • L Wallace posted at 8:26 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1378

    I remember when Kokanee was king and whole families could go fishing (Pend 'Oreille) together with everyone having a great time actually catching fish without any expensive fishing gear. Big fish were in the back ground with a couple fishing derbys for them each year. Then tourism exploded and the lake was managed for big fish and the derbys were the focus to increase tourism. Gradually Kokanee fishing declined as the big fish ate them & Mysis Shrimp ater their food source until that species nearly collapsed and was closed to fishing.

    Want to go fishing Lake Pend'Orille today you better have a lot of money for a large boat with kicker/trolling motor, downriggers, planer boards, fish and depth finders, special speed indicator and multiple (& expensive) poles, lines, lead weights, and lures. Few young families can afford this family connecting activity. Whatever happened to the "sport" of fishing? There is little sportsmanship in fishing Pend 'Orille today. Might as well use dynamite like Crocidile Dundee did in his movie.

    Idaho Fish and Game have managed lake P. for tourists and the few "well to do" locals, they have lost a whole lot of fishing license sales in the process. Then they got the bright idea to introduce Mysis Shrimp (to supposedly feed the Kokanee) without much if any evidence that the Kokanee fry would eat them. It turned out that the shrimp competed with the K. fry for their food source.

    Now it would be nice for Idaho Fish and Game to manage Idaho waters for Idaho families. I hope they continue the Pend 'Oreille Lake Trout reduction till they are nearly or fully gone in Pend 'Orille. I would also support the same in boh Priest Lakes. I fully support the historic Kokanee, Cutthroat, & Bull trout combination in these lakes.

    I do give the IF&G kudos for puting a bounty on Lake Trout and donating many fish to the food bank.

    I would like to see others comment on this aritcle.